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Higher prices, but pressures remain

Global – The latter part of March has witnessed a famine in Turkey’€™s deep-sea steel scrap bookings, with no new orders placed for a period of a week and a half. But when one of the country’€™s steel producers finally broke the trading silence just recently, the price paid was similar to those that had prevailed before buyers disappeared from the marketplace.

Latest cfr price indications for shipments from Europe to Turkey are approximately US$ 15 higher than in late February at US$ 250-255 per tonne for standard quality HMS I/II 80/20 scrap and US$ 255-260 per tonne for shredded.

While Baltic Sea/European suppliers provided Turkey with a double-digit number of cargoes in early March, the same destination has provided US exporters with slim pickings throughout the latter half of 2015’s opening quarter.

Meanwhile, steel mills in Taiwan have upped their prices for US supplies of containerised HMS I/II 80/20 from around US$ 225 per tonne cfr in late February to just over US$ 230. Bulk shipment bookings for this trading route have been conspicuous by their absence.

For the world’s crude steel producers, capacity utilisation showed a marked improvement to 73.4% in February. The figure was 3.8 percentage points higher than that for January 2015 but trailed February 2014 by 1.7 percentage points, according to the World Steel Association (WSA).

The 65 countries reporting to the WSA recorded a crude steel production total of 127.626 million tonnes in February for an increase of 0.6% over the same month last year. Across the first two months of 2015, however, output was 1.3% lower than in the same period last year at 261.407 million tonnes.

*The full version of Recycling International’s latest ferrous market analysis will appear in its April 2015 issue.

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